Backup Only

This Week's Walks - Archive

Please see the Saturday Walker's Club This Week's Walks page.

This is an archive of walks done by the Saturday Walker's Club. You should only need to use this page if the SWC website is down.

Blog Archive

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Saturday Third Walk - Wendover Circular

SWC Walk 140 – Wendover Circular (via The Lee and Swan Bottom)

Length:  20.1 km (12.5 mi)
Ascent/Descent:  437 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 4 ¾ hours
Toughness:  6 out of 10 
Length:  15.0 km (9.3 mi)
Ascent/Descent:  369 m; Net Walking Time: ca. 3 ¾ hours
Toughness:  4 out of 10 
Take the 09.27 Aylesbury train from Marylebone, arriving Wendover 10.15, for the full walk. Or the 10.27 train, if walking the short version. 
Return trains: XX.23 and XX.53 hours (57 minutes journey time).

This fairly energetic walk combines some of the finest elements of the Chiltern Hills, while having very little overlap with other walks in the area. After leaving Wendover in a south easterly direction on the Ridgeway the walk rises into woods. It then passes along fields to get to the picturesque green in The Lee, a conservation area village. From there it continues through woodland and the beautiful Lee Common to a 16th century lunch pub at Swan Bottom. After crossing some more fields, the afternoon section then leads entirely through woods right up to the outskirts of Wendover: it re-joins the Ridgeway for a while and then descends steeply off the escarpment down an ancient Holloway. Only to rise again, on forest tracks with some magnificent panoramic views , until getting to the highest point of the walk in the middle of Wendover Woods. From there the route to Wendover meanders through the woods, passing a wildlife hide and an ancient hill-fort site, before descending steeply to the plains.

Lunch is at The Old Swan in Swan Bottom (10.0 km/6.2 mi). A table has been booked for 12.30 hours.
For tea there are several pubs, The Shoulder of Mutton being the closest to the station, and a couple of cafes, Whitewaters Deli Café and Rumsey's of Wendover.

For walk directions, map, height profile, photos and gpx/kml files click here.


Thomas G said...

8 off the 09.27 train (incl. 1 first-timer), 1 on a later one having missed the train due to the lengthy, Bicester Village-bound, queues at the ticket machines (tip: just oyster through the barriers, there's no ticket inspectors/conductors on that line anyway), 1 off the 10.27 doing the short walk, all n=10 meeting at The Old Swan in Swan Bottom. A largely uneventful walk, with a perfect Chilterns feel to it, despite the leaves now mostly off the trees. Not yet turned to a dark mush though, so pleasant walking through the layers on the ground. Some muddy patches, but not yet annoyingly deep.
Our stay at the pub was much longer than hoped for, as we (all of the original 8 plus the short walker had a pub lunch) arrived just after another even larger group, and - as all meals are commendably produced from the ground up - we faced a long wait for the food to arrive, and then another long wait when paying, as the other mob got up seconds before us tp pay individually as well... After an hour 45 minutes we could finally move on...
Meantime the weather had changed from w=cloudy-initially-to-sunny-in-the-afternoon, so a very enjoyable 10 km through the woods followed, with the sun breaking through the tree tops, and - on nearing Wendover - a dark orange sun dominating the horizon.
We arrived at 16.15 and 6 of us opted for skipping Rumsey's and the Whitewaters Deli to give the Lady Grey Tea Room a chance, which had a very pleasant selection of cakes and (thankfully raisin-free) scones.
One quick drink at The Shoulder followed, then onto the 17.23 train. Nice.

Anonymous said...

I wound up paying a penalty fare when I did a variant of this walk a few weeks ago, even though I walked the length of the train in search of a human to give some money to. Oyster is good as far as Amersham, for which reason there is no guard until that station. On other lines, I have the impression that guards get a modest commission when they sell you a ticket; they seem happy to do so. Not so much on this line.